The Influence and Credibility of Presidential Mandates Analyzed in New Book

Jul 24, 2014

Dr. Julia Azari analyzes the presidential mandate in her new book.
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There’s no doubt we live in a highly politicized, highly polarized time.  As we enter the mid-term elections, there are a number of Republican candidates who are running with the promise of trying to impeach President Obama in the last two years of his term.

A variety of challenges, both foreign and domestic, have President Obama’s popularity at a low point, even among people who have historically supported him.  It’s a far cry from the mandate that the President and his political allies cited after his re-election two years ago.

But what would constitute a mandate, anyway?  And how have presidents used the idea of a mandate to justify policy?  Julia Azari tackles those questions in a new book called Delivering the People’s Message: The Changing Politics of the Presidential Mandate.

"When Presidents justify their decisions in terms of what they promised they would do and what they were elected to, it kind of puts the decision in the hands of the voters in a way that sounds democratic, but you know, there’s a way of thinking about democracy that’s kind of about, we elect leaders and we want leaders to exercise good judgment," says Azari.

Azari, who is an assistant professor of political science at Marquette University, will talk about the book September 2 at Boswell Book Company.